New England Patriots: Albert Haynesworth Released, Is Chad Ochocinco Next?

Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IINovember 8, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 30:  Chad Ochocinco #85 of the New England Patriots warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 30, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Rather shocking news arose today that the New England Patriots released defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth

Some could speculate that the team released Haynesworth after "giving up" and getting into a sideline confrontation with defensive line coach Pepper Johnson in the team's loss against the New York Giants last Sunday. However to me, this transaction isn't much more than a player not working out. 

Haynesworth never was able to adjust to New England's 4-3 defensive system, despite excelling in the 4-3 for most of his career. The 30-year-old had limited time to learn New England's defense, as he dealt with a back injury for a good chunk of the time that he spent with the team. 

Haynesworth appeared in only six games with the Patriots, recording just three tackles and no sacks.

With Haynesworth being a complete bust this year, another player who's been a disappointment that was acquired right after Haynesworth is wide receiver Chad Ochocinco—could No. 85 be the next to be released in New England?

Before we get into it, let's keep in mind that sources have indicated that the Patriots did not release Haynesworth due to his confrontation with Johnson, but simply because he was not working out and that the team did not want to prolong the issue—so why prolong the issue with Ochocinco? 

Ochocinco has played in all of New England's eight games this season while making only nine receptions for 136 yards and no touchdowns. In fact, Ochocinco is in a slump, which you could argue is a slump within a slump, as he has yet to catch a pass since Week 5 against the New York Jets

As Ochocinco's production has been significantly down, so has his playing time. Of a possible 583 offensive snaps, Ochocinco has played in only 181 of them—so could that be why he's not producing? 

To answer that question: No. It may be a tiny factor why he's not producing, but simply he is not getting open. 

Throughout the season, he has been targeted only 21 times—and that's in 181 plays. So, in the time that he's on the field, Ochocinco is only being thrown to about 11 percent of the time. However, the scary thing is, he has only caught only nine of his 21 passes, which is a lousy 42 percent. 

Despite Tom Brady and New England's offensive staff still keeping faith in Ochocinco, I would not be surprised if the former All-Pro wide receiver is let go sometime soon, just like his counterpart Albert Haynesworth. 

To sum it up rather simply: Haynesworth was not a good fit as he did not produce, so he was cut. Ochocinco has not been a good fit and he has not produced, so he will be—you fill in the rest. 

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